Our second Viewing Room presentation features the work of Roland Collins (1918 – 2015) and his depictions of France, specifically Normandy and the Riviera.


France and more explicitly Dieppe, was the frequent holiday spot of Roland and his wife Connie. Following in the artistic footsteps of Monet, Sickert and others, he first visited the Normandy fishing port in the fifties and continued holidaying there annually. Its rich history, gothic architecture and pebble beaches meant it was as evocative a source of inspiration for Collins as it had been for his predecessors.


From docks to town houses, bridges to markets, Roland Collins applied his own joie de vivre in these scenes of the everyday.  Each work is painted in gouache and measures 15 x 21 inches; each work displaying the artist’s characteristic vibrant composition and colour. Collins had a natural flare for romanticising the ordinary and clearly Dieppe enabled this. Although nominally a landscape artist, his paintings depict the built environment and the happy passage of figures through it.  


His idyllic views of France, which imbue modern life with an air of bucolic nostalgia, are what make each of his paintings distinct yet aligned with the work of his Neo-Romantic forbears Edward Bawden, John Piper and Eric Ravilious.